The Power of Pizza

Hi all! Ninja reporting here. At least, that is what my trail family calls me. You hear all sorts of trail names on the AT and I must say that I am pretty happy with Ninja. WOW, what an 8 days it has been so far. It is so easy to forget what day it is out here and it really does already feel like I’ve been out here for weeks. I was one lucky Ninja on April 4th. Mother nature welcomed me with open arms. I had two incredibly beautiful days of hiking. However, things changed on that third day. It was my 10th time hiking Blood Mountain but things were different this time around. It was my first time hiking her with 35lb on my back and 40mph winds to battle. I learned that the wind is not always my friend. I powered through to Neels Gap where a shakedown and a ridiculous amount of pizza were calling my name. The guy at Walasi-yi Outfitters shaved 2.5 lbs. off my pack and readjusted the weight. I can’t explain the difference it made. I’m still considering going back there after I make it to Maine and give that guy one big bear hug.

I was struggling when I got to Neels Gap. I think I may have overdone it coming out of Springer with a 17 mile day. However, never doubt the power of pizza and a couple of cold beers. I crushed multiple slices of pizza, got a little rest, and felt like a million bucks come Thursday morning.  I enjoyed a 17 mile day, feeling more confident, lighter, and stronger.

This experience has come with some serious ups and downs (literally). It’s amazing the effect weather can have on a hiker. One second the sun will be out and I couldn’t be more at peace with myself and my surroundings. The next thing you know the sky becomes grey, the wind picks up to 30mph+ and its pouring down rain in 32 degrees. It’s not always easy but I still feel that I’m right where I need to be.

I’m loving the neat little towns and the people out here are just great. I now fully understand the terms “trail family” and “hiker trash” and look forward to meeting many more on my journey NOBO. Now, let’s not forget those trail angels. It’s amazing what two grilled veggie burgers can do 7 miles into your hike. I’m so very thankful for all those wonderful people and what they do for us hikers. I hope to one day provide some trail magic of my own but for now I’m on the Maine train taking it one day at a time.

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Comments 1

  • Paula Hart : Apr 22nd

    Leah your Mom shard your blog link with me. I’m so impressed! I’ve iften thought hiking the trail would be awesome, not that I have what it takes. Looking forward to reading more. Take care.


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